Fiction Shelf Special


“Towards them, then away from them,
then back towards them.
Round and round and round we go.
Where she’ll drop dead, no one knows.”
Book #3, Hero at the Fall.

I loved it! The whole trilogy. First book, second book AND third book.

Okay so the writing isn’t perfect – there are a few grammar issues, & several missed words (& missed again by the editor or proofreader – a job I would willingly adore to do) – but on the whole Alwyn Hamilton’s writing is fun, gripping & adventurous.
& enlightening – esp for girls & young women (& even for slightly older ones like me) but also even for boys, i think this empowering view of what a ‘girl can do’ could only be beneficial in our gender-equalising new world.

The story is predictable in some places, & some not, & the some that are really prime up the ones that aren’t, making them more powerful. We are thrust into the life of our headstrong young female protagonist, Amani, experiencing her evolution, watching her gaining knowledge, restraint & compassion as we journey with her. It IS a story of good & evil but with no straightforward lines – sometimes Amani takes one of the many ‘right’ ways forward & sometimes she takes many of the ‘wrong’ ways forward. But I always understood, I was always there with her, waiting desperately to see how events would unfold.

Ultimately, this is a story of rebellion; One girl against the confines of her given life, two princes against their thoughtless & evil father, an ever-growing group of rebels against their unworthy & self-serving sultan, good against evil, mortal against immortal. It’s also a story of friendships, politics, understanding & misunderstandings, & it’s a story of love too.

& annoyingly, I loved the love-story. I never love the love-story, not really, they’re normally clichΓ¨d or the story relies on it – but this love-story is more restrained & yet more humanly passionate than the more obvious ‘girl-needs-a-boy’ story-hooks we usually have to stomach. It’s there, it shows us HOW she grows, but it isn’t who she is or why she becomes our heroine. The relationship, the man – are sometimes adverse & sometimes complimentary to her, & it’s her desire to maintain them in her life which means she finds a way to deal with them.

Moving back to Hamilton’s writing… you are happily dragged along on Amani & the rebellion’s journey, Hamilton ensures that you, the reader, feel EVERYTHING with her/them as you go, sweeping you into their quest with compassion & a fight that lingers even after the trilogy is finished.

Oh, & if your still not swayed to give them a read, there’s one more thing you should know. These books, they have Djinni in them; beautiful, magical, inhuman & often perilous Djinni.

Also, I know I know, I know you’re NOT meant to judge a book by its cover but… just look at them. They are beautiful & enticing. Oh dudes, how I want to pick them up again! πŸ™„

Book #1, Rebel of the Sands

Book #2, Traitor to the Throne

Book 3, Hero At The Fall


Photo credits to Flavia Brunetti @

Twitter & Insta: @whichwaytorome


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